Magnapop – The Circle Is Round

Magnapop records have always been a sizzling sunspot in the pop rock galaxy and with the band’s first release in nearly a decade nothing has changed. The Circle Is Round is an unapologetically charming proposition but one with a punk growl in its lining and instinctive volatility giving it even greater drama in sound and imagination.

Released via the ever magnetic label, HHBTM Records, The Circle Is Round is the 1989 formed Atlanta-based quartet’s sixth album and the successor to 2009’s Chase Park. Majorly fertile in sound, releases, and acclaim in the mid-90s, Magnapop have embraced a lower profile over the past years since ‘reuniting’ in order to play a benefit gig for local record store, Criminal Records. That laid the seeds for the desire to write and record new material now resulting in the captivation that is The Circle Is Round.

It is fair to say that attention and appetite was immediately gripped by the album’s opening breath, the hook carrying lure of Dog on the Door instant persuasion to ears and body. Vocalist Linda Hopper’s tones prove just as swiftly enticing as crisp rhythms match the tempting of the guitar’s punk jangle; Ruthie Morris’ bait effortlessly verging on the addictive. Keys and the latter’s backing tones only added to the eager temptation with the darker grumble of Shannon Mulvaney’s bass and the senses clipping swings of drummer David McNair a matching incitement.

With a slightly calmer but no less infectious bounce Change Your Hair follows and equally had little trouble getting under the skin especially with its Buzzcocks-esque hook and warm melodic smile while A Simple Plan straight after, explores an even mellower gait whilst accentuating its inherent catchiness across a fuzz borne landscape graced with the magnetism of keys. There is a great nagging quality to it with the vocals of Hopper and Morris, as in its predecessor, contagious caresses on ears.

Super Size Me bowls in throwing its creative weight around next, its punk nurtured vitality and pop woven tenacity another moment breeding addiction before Need to Change has hips swaying and pleasure boiling with a contagion something akin to B-52’s meets Weekend meets Throwing Muses. Both tracks simply had the spirit and passions bouncing and alongside the album’s opener shared favourite track moment between them.

The raunchier rock ‘n’ roll of What Can I Do gave further food for thought on that choice, echoing the strength and undiluted temptation on offer across The Circle Is Round. As with most tracks, the coarser growl and punk irritability of rhythms and chords align perfectly, almost seductively with the melodic adventure of voice and Bruce King’s keys not forgetting the weave of melodic temptation also escaping Morris’ guitar enterprise.

Through the enchanting balladry of Rain Rain, a song with another animated gait as manipulative as the song’s emotive croon is bewitching, and the similarly buoyant and reassuring Disabled, band and album piled on more temptation to be captivated by with Rip the Wreck capping indeed eclipsing their vibrant success with its own frisky escapade cast with feral riffs and aggressively agile rhythms. The track is a riveting slice of uproarious rock ‘n’ roll but again an incitement skilfully and imaginatively tempered by the melodic and harmonic instincts within Magnapop.

The Circle Is Round is completed by a pair of previously unheard demos recorded in 1992; Leo and Pretty Awful two glorious untamed punk fuelled treats of Magnapop in its heyday. As the new album proves though, that zenith is still lingering in the creativity of the band, its songs and character deviously addictive and deliciously individual.

 The Circle Is Round is out now digitally, on CD, and on vinyl via HHBTM Records with a white vinyl deluxe addition also available@ https://www.hhbtm.com/product/magnapop-the-circle-is-round/

http://www.magnapop.com   https://www.facebook.com/magnapopband/

Pete RingMaster 15/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dead Register – Fiber

pic Joe Sands

pic Joe Sands

The inability to pin down the Dead Register sound is almost as enjoyable as the music itself and the expansive web of flavours making it up. The Atlanta trio weave a tapestry which seems simultaneously made up of essences from gothic and death rock, post punk and dark pop, doom and post rock and more. As shown by debut album Fiber, the richness of those textures is a genre crossing emprise of craft and imagination. Yet there is something easily accessible to its busy body of imagination igniting invention and atmospheric drama too, an almost familiar presence which still defies recognition. The result of it all is a release which has a uniqueness few can emulate and a fascination which simply seduces ears and emotions.

Formed in 2013, Dead Register began as the creative union of vocalist/bassist M. Chvasta (ex-Palaces; ex-Light Pupil Dilate) and his wife Avril Che (bass synth, textures, keys, backing vocals). The programmed rhythmic side of the project was replaced the following year by Chad Williams (ex-Magnapop) with a wave of writing and subsequently the live honing of songs live following. Bringing six of their favourite tracks together, Dead Register now release Fiber; an introduction which bewitches and challenges in equally compelling manner.

From its first moments, Fiber is a leviathan of monolithic, doom infused temptation sparking and feeding off the imagination. It manages to be imposing, bordering portentous, but with an infectious virulence and emotively melodic character of sound which does not so much temper its dark side but blossoms in its embrace. It all starts with Alone and a lone and slim melancholic melody. It is the spark for a doom loaded awakening of raw riffs and a deliciously gravelly bass groan. A suggestive ambience lays in its shadows too before the instantly impressing tones of Chvasta’s croon and the rhythmic shuffle of Williams help unveil new depths in the outstanding encounter’s increasing emotion and drama.  Che’s harmonies float like gossamer in that air whilst the track takes on a Southern Death Cult meets Modern English meets Swans presence across almost ten minutes of sonic and vocal bliss.

Dead Register Fiber Cover Art_RingMasterReviewIt’s impressive and gripping presence is matched in might by the album’s title track next. From its initial grouchy growl in metallic riffs and bass lures, the song has ears and thoughts thickly involved with an intimidating creative theatre and emotive exploration. It gently nags and openly immerses the senses in a slightly corrosive but engaging proposal, everything about it a skilful and imaginative merger of contrasts. Rhythms are irritable yet rousing, melodies poetic against almost ravenous sonic atmospherics, and Chvasta’s beguiling voice the descriptive haven within a tempestuous climate and raw wind.

A mouth-watering post punk incitement opens up the rhythmically irresistible Drawing Down next; it continuing to make ripe appearances within the evocative landscape and post rock/ gloom-gaze heart of the third track. At times there are spices sparking thoughts of bands like Echo and The Bunnymen and The Birthday Party, other times a surge of invention hinting at a Godflesh or Palms, but all strands within the band’s captivating ingenuity linked by the ever impressing vocals and the tenaciously seducing rhythms.

Grave offers the darkest, dankest climate of the album so far, its atmosphere almost clinging to the senses as guitars and bass cast emotively picturesque lures serenaded by the rich expressive tones of Chvasta. As all tracks, it has thoughts off on their own creative tangent whilst embracing the narrative offered by voice and melodic intimation; a craft and success unsurprisingly found in the following Entwined too. Even with the riveting throaty grizzle of the bass, a flavour hard to get enough of within Fiber, the song has a warmer tone to its predecessors. It has an almost mystical air, especially through its sonic and melodic design, though again raw and erosive shadows lurk and crowd their magnetic insinuations for great volatility in another lingeringly memorable moment on the album.

Closing up with the heavy seductive oppression of Incendiary, a track rivalling Grave for strength of suffocating emotive intensity, Dead Register transfix and thrill with every twist and turn of Fiber. Though maybe not quite matching those before it for personal tastes, the final track epitomises the qualities and craft of the band whilst exciting the senses and imagination. Again contrasting textures and elements collude through a kaleidoscope of styles and sounds to create something unlike any other proposal heard in a long time and likely to be found again this year outside of the trio. Fiber is dark magic, emotional trespassing, and quite wonderful.

Fiber is released May 6th via AVR Records digitally and on CD and cassette @ https://deadregister.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/deadregister

Pete RingMaster 06/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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